The Leper from Calidon This image was inspired by Calidon, a Greek island that was the site of the last leper colony in Europe. It was the artist’s first attempt to simulate the look of a medieval oil painting on a wooden panel.
Lord of the Flies The distant terrain in this piece of a demonic centaur on the prowl was modeled with G-forge, an older terrain-generation tool.
Notre Dame de Industrie To create this image of a futuristic oil refinery looming large like a cathedral, Vilk used procedural displacement for the surface detail.
A TD in the film industry, Vilk learned technical and programming skills at studios including PDI/DreamWorks and Digital Domain. Technically, film work has taught Vilk how to make a 2k image hold up in terms of detail and realism, for instance. Lately though, he has been devoting more of his time to digital painting, which he finds more stimulating than the film work.
Style-wise, Vilk’s biggest influences are from the Northern European Gothic painters Bosch, Grunwald, Durer, and Beksinksi. "I call my style ‘digital Gothic’," he says. To this end, Vilk contrasts the fantastic, modern subject matter of his pieces with their aged, weathered appearance (akin to medieval paintings). "They’re meant to look like artifacts left by an imaginary alien culture that combined advanced technology with the mentality similar to our Dark Ages."
To accomplish that weathered appearance, the artist creates custom shaders and compositing networks set up within Side Effects Software’s Houdini. These include a brush stroke shader that enables him to procedurally re-create the look of strokes applied by a human painter, and an L-System-based network that covers his art with a pattern of cracks, stains, and grime.